UN prepares response to Glenda havoc

Posted at 07/16/2014 5:47 PM

MANILA - The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said it is ready to help amid the disaster left by typhoon Glenda (Rammasun).

In a statement, UN Humanitarian Coordinator Luiza Carvalho said: “We are in close communication with respective government counterparts as well as the Humanitarian Country Team and field offices for constant updates on the latest situation.”

She noted the government’s approach now is to augment the capacity of affected regions with a twin province from an unaffected area.

“A Task Force from the humanitarian community was set up to agree on additional measures to enhance our readiness to respond and remains on standby,” she added.

The first typhoon of the Philippines' brutal rainy season shut down the nation's capital on Wednesday, killing at least 11 people across the country and forcing hundreds of thousands to evacuate.

Ferocious winds from the typhoon tore roofs off houses, overturned cars and ripped trees out of the ground in the megacity of Manila, as well as remote fishing villages hundreds of kilometers away.

"I thought I was going to die. I went out to look for gasoline in case we needed to evacuate, but it was a mistake," said tricycle driver Pedro Rojas, 35, as he nursed a cut head while sheltering at a town hall on the outskirts of Manila.

"My tricycle rolled over twice after I slammed into sheets of rain. It was like hitting a wall... huge tin roofings were flying everywhere."

Glenda swept over Luzon island with wind gusts approaching 200 kilometers (120 miles) an hour, authorities said.

The national disaster management council reported five fatalities, while local authorities confirmed the six others to AFP. – with Agence France-Presse